Why Your General Dentist Recommends Regular X-rays
Dental X-rays are basically images of the teeth that a general dentist uses to evaluate your oral health. While a visual exam is beneficial, it does not tell dentists everything they need to know. Fortunately, dental X-rays help dentists to accurately diagnose and treat dental problems early. Just like brushing and flossing, getting regular dental X-rays is a vital part of your overall oral health.
Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool when assisting dentists to detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. Also known as radiographs, X-rays give dental professions the ability to see between and inside the teeth. Dentists can also look at the tip of the roots and bone underneath gums. These are some of the places that are not normally visible to the naked eye.
X-rays are commonly used as part of a routine exam to rule out dental disease. But X-rays can also help a general dentist in diagnosing any particular or isolated dental problems a patient might be experiencing. X-rays can be used by dentists to detect cavities and to evaluate the extent of the decay. It is also much easier to diagnose cysts, abscesses, and other masses because X-rays show the root of the tooth. Congenitally missing or impacted teeth can also be identified this way. Any bone loss due to periodontal disease can also be seen with X-rays.
How often X-rays should be taken depends on several factors. These include one’s current oral health, age, the risk for disease, and any symptoms of oral disease. Dentists usually review the patient’s history, examine the mouth, and then determine whether a patient needs X-rays. For a new patient, the general dentist may recommend X-rays to determine the patient’s present oral health status.
Kids may require X-rays more often than adults. Their dentists usually need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth. This can help dentists to decide if baby teeth need to be extracted to avoid complications. This includes adult teeth growing in behind baby teeth.
Risk of dental X-rays
X-rays are not harmful and often expose patients to a minimal amount of radiation. Dental X-ray tools as well as techniques are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation. When all precautions are taken, today’s X-ray equipment eliminates unnecessary radiation and allows the provider to focus the X-ray beam on a specific part of the mouth. A leaded thyroid collar and/or a leaded apron may also be used to protect the thyroid and abdomen.
Maintaining a healthy mouth
To protect your oral health, brush at least twice a day and floss consistently. Using a fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Dental checkups and routine X-rays are also crucial for a healthy mouth. X-rays are very beneficial because they help to find problems that cannot be seen with an oral exam. Dentists use them to spot problems early on in the mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw. Treating problems early can help you avoid many problems in the long run and even save money.
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